There’s an interesting problem with being a Web designer, and I’ve heard it from a number of them. Oh sure, you design great sites all day long, but showing them off in one place is difficult. Doing so with sites that aren’t live is even harder. It’s with that in mind that StyleJam thinks it has a better idea.
The thought is to have a centralized location to show off your design chops, even if they’re works in progress. StyleJam’s Nicholas Wieland tells me that StyleJam is “basically about facilitating designers when they craft their personal portfolios.” So, instead of building your online web design portfolio from scratch, hosting it, sharing it, begging for feedback and maintaining it, StyleJam handles all of that.
Designers can sign up for StyleJam, capturing their custom NAME.stylej.am URL. From there, they are given some nicely-formatted HTML where they can upload their own CSS and personalize it.
Once the design side of things are done, the community aspect comes into play. Much like what we see with Dribbble, comments and voting are enabled and the index is built from them. The more votes that you get, the higher you’ll show in the index.
Pricing is based on a freemium model, where the free side of things gets you a portfolio, 5 messages from customers and ads on your page, with StyleJam branding. If you want to clean things up and move to unlimited messaging, it’s $15 per month.
As StyleJam has just launched, it’s pretty bare right now. There are only 2 (yes TWO!) portfolios on the site, but you can bet that it’s going to see growth pretty quickly, especially given the freemium plan. So designers, head over and take a look, then give us your thought. Wieland tells me that this is the MVP of StyleJam, with many more features no doubt in the plans for later down the line.